Al Jazeera berichtet am 01.03.2019 von zehntausenden Demonstrant*innen, die am Freitag gegen das Regime protestiert haben.
Police helicopters circled overhead as protesters gathered in streets and parks of the capital, Algiers after midday Muslim prayer services.
Riot police vans lined the boulevard leading to the presidential headquarters and deployed around the march route.
Security forces fired tear gas at protesters in the Belcourt neighbourhood on the city’s Mediterranean shore….
There were also demonstrations in other cities such as Oran, Constantine, Setif, Tizi Ouzou and Bouira drawing in thousands, according to residents.
The protests were mostly peaceful, but scuffles broke out in the capital between police and protestors later in the day near the presidential palace, witnesses said.
About a dozen people were wounded in sporadic clashes with police, the AFP news agency reported.
Since last Friday thousands have taken part in anti-government protests seldom seen in the country.
„To come out onto the streets in such huge numbers is an act of courage by the Algerian people. In a sense they have got rid of their fear of the repressive regime. This could be a tipping point in Algeria,“ Jeremy Keenan of the Queen Mary University of London, told Al Jazeera.
Keenan called the demonstrations „completely unprecedented“.
He said Algerian youth are not only calling for 81-year-old Bouteflika to not run in the upcoming election but also are demanding a change in the way their oil-rich country is governed.
„Fifty percent of the Algerian population, we are talking about 42 million people, is under the age of 27 and 30 percent of those are unemployed. You have a country that is potentially extremely rich. The revenues from oil in the last 20 years have been at least a trillion dollars. Of that at least 300 million is unaccounted for. People know this and are sick of it.“ he added.
Ramy Allahoum schreibt am 28.02.2019 in einem Beitrag Al Jazeera über die obskuren Machtzentren in Algerien. Das Regime droht mit Krieg:
Commenting on images of protesters offering flowers to policemen, Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia on Thursday warned that demonstrations in Syria had started in a similar fashion.
Ein ausführlicher Bericht findet sich auch in der NYT vom 01.03., wobei auf die abwartende Haltung der bewaffneten Kräfte in Algier verwiesen wird:
As Mr. Bouteflika’s condition has steadily deteriorated, the government has stifled opposition by adopting security laws with often vague and broad definitions of what qualifies as a threat to the state.
But this time that strategy does not appear to be working. The country’s extensive security forces have been mostly passive as citizens have coursed through the streets of Algiers shouting slogans against Mr. Bouteflika’s candidacy. On Friday, there was occasional use of tear gas, but the police appeared to be well disposed toward the crowds on the whole, observers noted.
For years the government has tamped down opposition by holding itself as the only alternative to the chaos of the country’s bloody civil war in the 1990s, when some 200,000 were killed in an Islamist uprising. That legacy also helped keep the country calm even as others around it were swept up in the Arab Spring of 2011.
But many in the crowd, noted Mustapha Bouchachi, a human rights lawyer in Algiers, are now too young to have known the so-called black decade of the ’90s.
“It’s a movement of the young, and of all Algerian citizens,” Mr. Bouchachi said in a telephone interview from the capital. “It’s this feeling of dishonor, that the regime is daring to present as candidate a man who is gravely ill, and who runs nothing.”